If I’m perfectly honest about it, the only reason I go to Crimefest in Bristol is to meet the fabulous Donna Moore (right). She can be a bit of a recluse, Donna, and doesn’t venture outside her front door very often – the occasional gig, a rare excursion to buy shoes, the opening of an envelope, that kind of thing.
Anyway, I’m off again to see Donna (and do the whole Bristol Crimefest thing) again this year, and I’m hugely looking forward to it. I’m taking part in a discussion called ‘Making Us Laugh About Murder’ on Friday afternoon, alongside Ruth Dudley Edwards, Colin Cotterill, Dorothy Cannell and moderator Lindsey Davis; and on Saturday afternoon I’ll be hosting a discussion on ‘Books to Die For’, featuring contributors to the BOOKS TO DIE FOR tome Barbara Nadel, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Colin Bateman and Brian McGilloway.
On Saturday night, there’s the Gala Dinner and Awards Presentation, at which I hope to be seated beside Peter Rozovsky, because he’s the only one who can stop me throwing my broccoli out of my high chair. BOOKS TO DIE FOR is up for an award on Saturday night, along with some very fine books indeed; and SLAUGHTER’S HOUND has been shortlisted for the Goldsboro ‘Last Laugh’ gong, an award I was lucky enough to win last year (at least, I’m pretty sure I did – it might well have been a particularly vivid fever-dream).
Apart from the various events, panels and official events, though, the best part of the weekend is catching up with people you tend not to see from one end of the year to the other. Much coffee will be consumed, and perhaps a glass of sherry or two, and quite a bit of hot air generated. Even the weather is promised fine. Should be a cracker. For the full Crimefest programme, clickety-click here ...
“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.